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BUFFALO, NEW YORK; April 28, 2006-Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) Corporation has been granted approval from the New York State Hospital Review and Planning Council to open its third Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory (Cath Lab) and second Electrophysiology Laboratory (EP Lab). The authorization recently received for the new labs is dated April 6, 2006.

With its two existing Cardiac Catheterization Labs and one Electrophysiology Lab at capacity, ECMC is adding laboratories to respond to the health care needs within the community. ECMC's 24/7 trauma system, rooftop heliport accessibility, the region's first 24/7 emergency angioplasty service, and a teamwork approach to emergency care, create the foundation for an efficient and timely cardiac transfer system.

"The expansion of these two labs is a direct result of an increase in patients choosing ECMC for cardiac care. I think Western New York is recognizing the high quality of care that we deliver," stated ECMC Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer Michael A. Young, M.H.A., F.A.C.H.E.

The location for ECMC's third Cardiac Cath Lab will be within the area where the existing two Cath Labs are situated and adjacent to the Cardiac Surgical Suite. The investment for ECMC's third Cath Lab is estimated to be $1,900,000. The location of the second Electrophysiology Lab will be on ECMC's first floor within the existing EP Lab area, located adjacent to the Cath Labs, operating rooms and patient recovery area. The projected investment for the new EP Lab is $1,100,000.

Coronary artery disease is the number one killer in America, and the Buffalo region has consistently held one of the highest rates of cardiovascular disease in the country. Angioplasty (conducted in a cardiac catheterization laboratory) is a procedure that opens a clogged vessel(s) to the heart. The sooner such a clogged vessel is opened, more heart muscle is saved, and the better the chances for patient survival. The number of angioplasty procedures performed continues to rise, due in part, to improvements in technology. The Electrophysiology Laboratory provides physicians the environment necessary to efficiently evaluate and manage patient heart rhythm disorders. As the advancement of electrophysiology technology and practice continues, and as the patient population ages, the number of electrophysiology procedures performed is projected to continue to rise.

In 2000, ECMC was one of the first facilities to introduce digital, state-of-the-art cardiac catheterization laboratories to Western New York. The Heart Center at ECMC also features a modernized heart-related diagnostic suite, and a private consultation room for patients. In 2002, ECMC opened its technologically advanced Electrophysiology Laboratory.

The Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) Corporation encompasses an advanced academic medical center with 550 inpatient beds and 156 skilled nursing home beds, on- and off-campus health centers, over 40 outpatient specialty care clinics, and the Erie County Home, a 586-bed skilled nursing facility. The medical center serves as the regional center for trauma, burn, rehabilitation, and a major teaching facility for the State University of New York at Buffalo. The ECMC Corporation is dedicated to being Western New York's medical center of choice through excellence in patient care and customer service.

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